So Much To Be Done
The thirteenth century Dominican mystic, Meister Eckhart, is part of that long procession of men and women who have encouraged their generations to take time to be still and to wait upon the Lord. “There is a spark of God,” wrote Eckhart, “in the soul of man, and that is what is truly real. Look inward quietly so that God may be born into your soul.”
I wish I could report that the message of Meister Eckhart is alive and well in my life. Unfortunately, the flurry of activity which accompanies the beginning of a new season (both in work and in life) has left little time for stillness and looking quietly inward. Perhaps that’s true for many of us.
The legendary Winston Churchill, so the story goes, was once presented a plaque by the women’s temperance union. As the chairwoman placed it in his hands, she pointed to an imaginary line on a nearby wall and said rather caustically, “Sir Winston, do you realize that if we poured into this room all the brandy you have consumed in your lifetime, the mark would reach about here?” Slowly, Churchill first looked at the imaginary line on the wall and then at the ceiling above and replied, “So much to be done and so little time to do it.”
Since the fall is in full swing, I have had reason to think about Sir Winston. Alas, there seems “so much to do and so little time to do it.” In fact, I am writing lists at my desk these days, and that is always a bad sign that life is getting too complicated for my own good and the good of those around me.
What’s the answer? I’m not sure exactly, but I suspect it has something to do with making sure that one’s priorities are sorted out and in proper order. After all, it doesn’t make much sense to help lead a choir through this wonderful season and lose sight of the God for whom you are doing it, or to work so hard for a family that there is no quality time left to spend with them, or to weed a garden and not see the flowers, or to labor so hard at relaxing that it is no longer relaxing, or to worry about preparing a meal that there’s no joy left in sharing it, or____________________________________.
Well, you fill in the blank. If you’re at all like me, you will know exactly what needs to go there.